Bearsden's Go Big or Go Home

Posted on Thursday 23rd June, 2011 Times Viewed: 4539
This weekend last year it was still possible to shred on some Scottish snow but we didn’t quite manage it again so everyone had to make do with heading to Bearsden dryslope for the Go Big or Go Home comp. For those who have not darkened its doorstep the setup at the slope is pretty sweet with a smooth kicker, a decent sized quarterpipe and a selection of rails and boxes.

Words and Photos by Neil McGrain
After the untimely demise of the Legion Rocks events in 2009, Danny, Matt McCormick & their dad, Gerry, stepped up and sorted out a new comp for 2011. To anyone who organises comps you know what is involved but to those who just turn up and ride it’s a gut wrenching slog to pull it all together. Envoys were dispatched to draw in the support from the Scottish riders and on the day the whole of the UK was pretty much represented. The Aberdonians had put the sheep down for a weekend and there were even a few who required their passport to get them north of the border to see what all the fuss was about. It might have something to do with the reputation the slope has for being the best in Scotland, nae the UK. And to top it off the bar is well stocked and pretty much everyone is welcome.

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Now it would be pretty fair to say that Bearsden has some of the best riders out there, but with a prize bag bigger than Santa's stuffed sack it was always going to drag a few folks out the woodwork for an afternoon shred. Some of the local kids were competing for the first time but it was the usual suspects who were going off. Marc McClement & Jesse Smith were having a dub battle. Marc dub backs & Jesse dub fronts. Both of them took some brutal slams in the search of the elusive dryslope dub. Slams so brutal that an overpaid footballer would have been hospitalised for months and even then probably never managed to put his boots on again due to the physiological anguish. Marc's girly legs couldn't quite hold the landing for him but that might just be down to him being ginger, but Jesse eventually managed to put one down much to the happiness and joviality of the crowd. Men bought him beers, children wanted his autograph, women wanted to go home with him, but Jesse went back through to Edinburgh on his own. Who else has landed a dub on dryslope?

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In the younger groups the riders were putting some serious pressure on the older guys. In thanks for organising the comp Danny was being mercilessly slagged off that his considerably younger brother Matt was riding better than he was. Danny took this about as well as anyone might expect and proceeded to throw down rodeo 7's, cab 9's but in the end Matt still beat him. Must be hard to be 18 and past it already. Matt was, as usual, showing the benefit of shredding with older riders and time spent with the British Junior Team. Back 9's, cab 3's and cripplers in the pipe took Danny apart but also gave him the overall win of the day. A great result considering that there were plenty of riders there who can buy beers and he can't even buy a lottery ticket for another 2 years. A couple of years time and he could be following Jamie if the bright lights of uni and studying don't lure him to the dark side.
Also on that front young Fin Bremner from Aberdeen was putting down 9's at 12 yrs old. I can remember when Steve Bailey did the first 9 on dryslope XX years ago. Now kids just out of nappies can do it. WTF?

As the snowboarders disappeared for lunch it was the turn of the skiers to cause some damage. Anyone who has been around the UK ski scene for a few years knows that 13 and 14 yr olds challenge most of the top riders at any comp and this comp was to be no different. Cal Sandieson & Chris McCormick are barely out of primary school but can still throw down more technical runs than most can dream of. Rodeo's, cork 9's & switch un-natural 7's are common place for them. However in the end it was East Coast implant Harris Booth who was on point all day with effortless Rodeo & Cork 7's and huge amplitude which kept Chris & Cal in check and took home the win.

In the Open ski category David Bilsland, Chris Wadsworth and Hector Barbour were all battling it out. All of them were using the slope to maximum effect and were including the quarterpipe and bin jib to gain extra points. All of these guys are pretty comfortable in the air but it was Hector Barbour's smooth switch cork 7's, switch rodeos and fatty slow 1's which stole the show and walked away with a new pair of skis. The girls comp didn't disappoint either with a fair few turning out but throwing down 7's, switch 5's and misty's. Bearsden local Cory McVicar ended up winning closely followed by Rowan Cheshire and Anna Vincenti.

Go Big or Go Home couldn't have happened without a hell of a lot of work and support from various different parties. Firstly the sponsors, Animal, Salomon, Nike 6.0, Bamboo Rider, Freeze Pro Shop, DC, Volcom, Line, Vans, K2, Clan, Boax Headwear, Volkl, Grenade, Propaganda Snowboards, Bawbags and Librance. Special thanks to Rupert of Librance for getting behind the comp from the start and getting the sponsors on board for hopefully a regular summer comp at Bearsden. Big props to the ladies who kept the BBQ going in the rain all afternoon. I certainly appreciated the burgers. Finally a massive thanks to Danny, Matt & Gerry McCormick for stepping up and organising the whole comp. Without people like them doing it for the development of the sports, there would be no development. Everyone who was there has said they had a great time, with Jamie Nicholl's posting on his blog "Probably the best dryslope competition ever to go down!"

The standard of riding on dryslopes continues to improve every year thanks to snowflex and forward thinking facilities who understand what the riders want. Without all of them could it still be possible to produce world class athletes who can realistically compete on the International circuit ? Who knows but it's great to see the international recognition the UK skiers and boarders are getting having done most of their training on a 100m toothbrush or 200m fridge. With the top world class results coming from these guys and girls surely there should be some funding available to them. Just because it isn't an olympic discipline shouldn't stop support going to those who are already holding their own on the world stage.

Boarders:

12 and under

1. Fin Bremner
2. Brandon Bow
3. Joe Gardner

13-16

1. Matt McCormick
2. Sam McGrath
3. Marc McClement

Open

1.Matt McCormick
2. Danny McCormick

Women

1. Orla Doolin
2. Vaila Chapman


Most Progressive Rider - Alex Cameron
Best Bail Jesse Smith

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Shredcast - Go Big or Go Home from Salomon Snowboards UK on Vimeo.

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